Developing people, practice and performance

CETAD is a centre for Excellence in Work Based Learning offering a new model of higher education

Traditional higher education may not meet the needs of learners in work; lacking flexibility and based on instruction in academic theory. Conversely, vocational training may be too focused on skills and lacking in rigour. 

Our Work Based Learning approach takes the ‘best from both worlds’ and provides a new model for higher education. The approach is flexible, rigorous, balances academic and practitioner perspectives and allows learners to build on and learn through their experience. It is based upon an understanding of how adults learn, our role in facilitating this process and the importance of linking learning closely to the demands of work.


Working with individuals, teams, organisations and businesses, we are known for:

A personalised, flexible, negotiated approach
No ‘one size fits all’! Our starting point is you; your needs, experience, objectives and aspirations. From here we work with you to shape your course.   We take account of prior learning, respecting and valuing the learning that comes through experience.  We excel at supporting those who may not have studied for some time.  Our flexible qualification frameworks allow us to design highly bespoke courses leading to University qualifications.

Facilitating learning
We pay equal attention to both the process of learning and the subject matter, empowering individuals to manage their own learning.  We place emphasis on sustainable learning so that individuals and organisations can continue to learn and manage change.  Broader and deeper than ‘training’ we develop the high level knowledge and skills in learning, research, critical analysis and personal effectiveness needed to manage complexity and change.

Our courses are practical, relevant and useful as well as academically rigorous; our staff have both academic and practitioner experience. Work Based Learning recognises that professionals seek solutions to problems from a range of different fields and we focus on the ‘trans-disciplinary’ learning which is relevant for you and your work context.  Rather than producing essays or dissertations, your learning will be based around real work activities and projects.

Working in partnership
We work in partnership with learners and employers, valuing your expertise as well as sharing ours.  You will find us genuinely collaborative, supportive and ‘learner-centred’. We will work with you to understand and shape your objectives, taking account of the challenges and constraints and co-design learning courses to meet specific outcomes.

Making a difference
Our distinctive approach is built around practice and action, informed by theory (not the other way round!). We align professional development for individuals to the business needs of organisations.  You will develop your professional standing and your organisation will see the results in terms of your performance, improvements to practice and organisational performance.

Located in the Faculty of Health & Medicine, we specialise in courses for the NHS and other public and private sectors related to health, social care and biomedicine.